With only a few days left this year, some European countries have already begun to introduce new restrictions in a timid attempt to reduce the number of infections caused by the Omicron strain.
Masks are again mandatory on Italian streets, and Finland has closed its borders and allows access only to those who have been vaccinated or who have gone through the disease.
However, the relatively small number of hospitalizations and deaths gives hope that the current wave is not as dangerous as the previous ones.
CNN reporter: “An explosion of COVID cases, caused by the Omicron variant, led to the introduction of new restrictions all over continental Europe. Here in Italy, wearing masks in the open has become mandatory. “
On the other hand, France is waiting until after New Year to introduce new restrictions. These include a ban on eating food or drink in cinemas. In addition, the number of people allowed to attend public events will be reduced.
Delphine Samy, a French reporter: “I think the government is doing what they can with the information they have about this virus that has spread all over the world, not just here. We just hope it won’t be the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth dose, but I think they’re doing what they can. “
New Year’s Eve is getting sadder, at least in some European cities.
In Madrid, hundreds of people have been waiting in line at test and vaccination centers after Spain announced in recent days the largest number of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic: almost 100,000 infections and 114 deaths recorded yesterday alone . Here, too, some regions are considering introducing new restrictions to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. Until then, the locals are being tested en masse.
Finland is also on the list of countries that have already introduced new restrictions. Only vaccinated people and those who have been through the disease in the last 6 months will be allowed to enter the country. According to the authorities, almost 79% of Finnish citizens have been vaccinated so far with at least two doses of the vaccine.
The Omicron variant, although much more transmissible, seems to cause significantly milder forms of the disease. That is why the government led by Boris Johnson has decided not to impose new restrictions in England before New Year’s Eve, although almost 130,000 new cases were registered yesterday.
Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN: “Some European countries are considering reducing the quarantine and isolation period to get people to work faster after they have been confirmed with COVID, especially if they are asymptomatic.”